Do UV Lights Dry Regular Nail Polish? Do They Work With Lacquer?

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If you’ve ever had your nails done at a salon using gel nail polish, then your technician used a UV or LED lamp to dry your nails. If you do your nails at home with regular lacquer nail polish, would drying them under a UV light also work?

Do UV lights dry regular nail polish? Well, unfortunately, no. The UV lights don’t speed up drying regular lacquer nail polish.

But there are some ways to get that gel look at home. Read on for more!


Do UV Lights Dry Regular Nail Polish?

Well, the simple answer to this question is an easy no, because regular nail polish simply needs the flow of air to dry. The time it will take your nail polish to dry will vary, though, depending on the brand that you are using, as well as how thick the coats are that you’ve applied.

Therefore, it is not recommended that you try to use a UV lamp in order to dry your nails if you’ve applied regular nail polish to them.

This is because regular nail polish contains chemicals like butyl acetate, ethyl acetate, and alcohol, which are volatile solvents that work by evaporating the liquid.

It is not recommended that you try to use a UV lamp in order to dry your nails if you’ve applied regular nail polish to them.

The evaporation process is why using regular nail polish can sometimes take up to two hours to dry, especially if you’ve applied it on too thick or applied more than two coats. And using a UV light or even an LED lamp won’t do anything to speed up this process, just as it won’t help with drying dip nails or acrylic nails.

That’s because the heat of these lamps will only work to dry nail gel, not polish. The lights are not meant to help with the evaporation process of the solvents.

And although technically it is possible for your UV lamp to produce a significant amount of heat, you would need more exposure to the UV light than you would with gels. And too much intense UV light exposure isn’t a good thing, especially as it will be concentrated on just one area of your body.

Therefore, if you’re after faster drying times with your regular nail polish, learn to apply it in thinner coats, and maybe do one or two an hour or so before bedtime (wait a few minutes between coats), then add another coat in the morning.

Don’t forget to add a top coat as well, so that your nails will last for longer.

You’ll be pleased to hear that there are also a couple of other ways that you can dry regular nail polish a bit faster, although again, it’s all about the evaporation of the solvents.

So, let’s take a look at what you can do to make this happen…

Other Alternatives To Drying Regular Nail Polish

An easy way to dry lacquer nail polish faster, and something you may not have thought of, is using a nail dryer.

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Even a normal hair dryer on a cold setting will do this trick, as it will allow for faster evaporation of the solvent chemicals.

Normal hairspray can also be used to evaporate the solvents faster. Simply hold your hands about eight inches away from your nails and allow the aerosol to do the job.

Have a bowl of very cold water ready on the side, because after spraying you can dip your fingers in to not only rinse off the spray, but also speed up the chemical process.

Gel-Like Nails Without UV Light

Sally Hansen is a pioneer in the nail polish market, and its Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish  has been formulated to give a gel-like appearance that will last for up to eight days.

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Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Nail Polish comes in a wide variety of 80 colors that pop, and it’s the original home gel polish that needs no UV light. In just two simple steps (applying the color, as well as the top coat), you will have a mani or pedicure from the number one selling gel polish in America.

Step two in this process is provided by the Sally Hansen Miracle Gel Top Coat , which will give a brilliant and shiny appearance on top of your pop of color that will give you salon quality results at home.

And best of all, both the color and top coat can be removed just like you would with regular nail polish remover. How simple is that?

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Final Tips

So, now you know the answer to whether UV lights help dry regular nail polish. They don’t help at all.

You also have a couple of options that will give you the same benefits of gel nails at home, without having to use a UV light. So what are you waiting for?

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).